Data from the South Carolina Children's Hospital Collective reported 61 children hospitalized with COVID-19 Thursday, a record high since the start of the pandemic. The previous high was 54 children.
Of the 61 children hospitalized, 55 are unvaccinated, though 26 of the unvaccinated children are under the age of 5 and therefore ineligible for the vaccine. Almost half of the hospitalized children have not been vaccinated despite being eligible for the vaccine.
Of those hospitalized, 12 children are in intensive care, and one is on a ventilator. Children's hospital occupancies across the state are high, with pediatric intensive care beds between 50% to 100% full, and all other staffed beds excluding the emergency department between 84% to 92% full.
Many South Carolina schools have faced staff shortages or have made the decision to switch to online instruction after the holiday break due to the rise in cases among students and staff, said Dr. Brannon Traxler, public health director for the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, during a press conference Wednesday.
Greenville, Spartanburg and Pickens County schools have not ceased in-person instruction due to the outbreak, but are dealing with staff shortages, with one in seven Greenville County School District employees absent Jan. 10.
12,309 new COVID-19 cases, 24 deaths
The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control reported 12,309 new cases of COVID-19. Of those cases, 8,896 are confirmed and 3,413 are probable.
DHEC also reported 19 confirmed and 5 probable deaths, for a total of 24 reported deaths today.
Of all tests reported, 36.5% were positive.
This article originally appeared on Greenville News: Record number of COVID-19 positive children hospitalized in SC